HomeBlogPirate a Siddur and You're Going to Jail

Pirate a Siddur and You're Going to Jail

Published October 15, 2009

I was happy to see my first shareware app, MyZip, show up on a serialz list only weeks after release. It showed that my app was worth stealing. What I was not prepared for what the immediate impact it had on business. Literally the money stopped coming in. It was easier to steal the program then write a check. Well, those were the 90’s. Fast-forward to 2008 and things are a bit different.

When I found our first iPhone app, Siddur, up on torrent sites less then a month after it’s release, I said, he we go again. To my confusion, things were not the same this time around. Two factors come in play: 1) It is now much easier to buy legit software then to steal it 2) My app was a religious app; kind of pointless to steal it!

Apple really made buying apps super easy. The prices is usually right, you don’t need your credit card out and the best is you can be anywhere. If I would like to get an app the unofficial way, I would have to jailbreak my iPhone, find the software on a very sketchy app and download it. The process once setup would only take a few seconds longer then the legit way, but there is one major caveat – you are stuck in that version until “they [the pirates]” crack a new version. Currently, Siddur is at version 4.1.1, the latest cracked version was like 1.8. That is over a year of updates!

Siddur is a Jewish prayer book. That means, that when Jews need to pray for things like the forgiveness of stealing items that don’t belong to them, they would use a Siddur. The Talmud goes in depth into the topic of Mitzvah Ha-bah Mei-Avera, a good deed that comes through a bad deed. There are certain places where it is permissible. Borrowing a Siddur to pray and then returning it without asking for permission is generally permissible; however, I don’t thing the Sages would have extended it to pirating a Siddur. Funny story is we actually received a phone call from someone who pirated the Siddur and said he felt bad and wanted to pay for it. The bottom line is that it’s wrong.

The trigger for my writing of the post was a nice update from the people at Pinch Analytics that monitor pirated iPhone apps among other metrics. The post showed that 38% of iPhone/iPod Touch owners who have Jailbroken devices have at least one pirated app on their device. They also show that of all apps in the app store, 60% of them have been pirated by at least one user.

Additional Reading:
Piracy in the App Store
Stealing iPhone Apps
Piracy and the Internet: How MP3’s Changed the World


blog comments powered by Disqus


Ronnie Schwartz is the CTO and founder of RustyBrick, an agile web & mobile development firm that creates effective applications and focuses on finding the right balance between time to production and software quality to get clients in front of their customers quickly and effectively. Ronnie brings over twenty years of innovative design, programming and management expertise to the table.

This article is under iPhone

There is 1 comment for this post

Connect With Us

Send Us a Message

Do you wish to give us feedback on one of our apps, send us a message or explore a proposal? Fill out the form below and we'll get back to you pronto!

Visit Us

250 West Nyack Road, Suite #200 West Nyack, NY 10994
Get Directions

Call Us Toll Free